University of Miami replaces field ahead of SB practices

When the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers visited the University of Miami ahead of the NFC Championship Game for a site visit, there was one problem: Both potential Super Bowl LIV participants deemed the practice surface unsuitable, sources say.

What transpired next could have derailed the use of the Hurricanes' practice field for the 49ers and nearly led them to relocate to a facility further away with a safer surface.

Instead, officials with the Niners, NFL, Miami and other interested parties struck a deal to replace the field under certain agreed-upon circumstances, meaning San Francisco didn't need to relocate its entire operation elsewhere.

As for Hard Rock Stadium itself, a league official said, "Every year, for decades, we put in a new field at Super Bowl when there is a grass surface. That's standard."

None of the parties involved have commented, but a league official said a practice surface being replaced prior to Super Bowl week has happened in the past.

When the 49ers and Packers visited prior to last week, the field was deemed unsafe in accordance with NFL standards. When the league conducted its testing, those officials agreed with the initial sentiments. The hope was to replace the field with a safer surface -- with the Niners paying.

The response, sources say, was that Miami had taken a year to mold its own field and did not want it replaced. The team began surveying other potential locations for the team to practice and house its operations during Super Bowl week -- with Florida International and Florida Atlantic being two possible options.

At this point, local officials got involved and the resolution was reached: The field would be replaced and if The U didn't like it later, they could have it replaced to their liking.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

Super Bowl LIV details

When is the Super Bowl? Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will take place on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Where is the Super Bowl? Hard Rock Stadium will host the game in 2020, marking Miami's 11th time as Super Bowl host city.

*How to watch the Super Bowl: Tune in on Fox, with the NFL App, Yahoo Sports App, and on NFL.com. Check out more updates and info here. *

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